This week I have been more useful than usual, helping out with wedding catering, hospital visits and shopping expeditions on behalf of others who need a hand. It has reminded me that although I have the work/life balance issue sorted for now, I need to remember to balance my digital life with life in the physical universe.
Authenticity has been a theme for me recently, and I enjoyed Sandra Pawula’s post Walking the Labyrinth to Your True Self. Sandra explores how being authentic and living with integrity can lead to personal contentment, which in turn open you up to greater kindness and compassion. I am finding that allowing myself to follow my own path this past year has helped me be more responsive to other people’s needs, as less energy is consumed in worrying about myself.
Zen Habits had an interesting guest post by Lissa Rankin called 6 Steps to Healing Yourself. Lissa is a doctor who believes that the body knows how to heal itself, and that we can benefit by being more proactive about encouraging that natural capacity. I found it interesting when she says that the bodys natural self-repair mechanisms work best when we are relaxed, and are impeded by excessive stress. She affirms that we intuitively know what we need to be well, although we don’t always pay attention. Thats certainly been my experience so its encouraging to hear it explained by a medical practitioner.
Louise Krupski wrote a thought provoking post on her blog Simple, Meaningful and Free about the complexities of deciding whether to downsize. Her post Is This My Beautiful House describes the experience of being “stuck in this fairlytale” of a large home with an expensive mortgage. I could relate to the struggle between a gut instinct which is saying downsize and get out of debt now, and the desire not make a financially unwise decision. For myself, I have decided to embark on an experiment of following my intuition, which means that I have sold my home and quit my job. I don’t regret it, but I do wake up a night wondering if I should be putting more in my superannuation.
Intuition as a source of wisdom about how to act in a way that is congruent with our needs and goals is a thread which runs through these posts. One thing I notice about myself is that often I will know what my intuition is telling me, but I delay acting on the pretext of “being sensible” or “thinking about it”. Thats useful and necessary up to a point, but I am capable of resisting my intuition for years, or even decades, because I am daunted by what it is telling me.
With this in mind, I have decided to try an “early intuition response experiment”. My gut feeling is telling me that selling greeting cards is not the right direction for me to take. I have been considering various methods of scaling down such as allowing the listings in the Etsy store to time out over the next few months and focussing on selling out existing stock to shops.
However my gut feeling is if I do that the Etsy store and face-to-face sales will continue to tug at my attention and suck up my time for the sake of a few more meagre sales. In the meantime, I won’t be concentrating on the things that are important to me, including developing my writing and finding a viable and sustainable income source. Rather than invest more time and effort in a slow exit from a losing proposition, I have decided to close the Etsy store, announce the winding down of greeting card sales, and relegate the project to personal hobby status immediately. I have an inkling that this will free up my mental space to get on with the next step.
Intuition really can be a pain in the neck. Its scary to just trust that you know what you are doing and take a leap of faith, but I think its worth seriously exploring what your intuition is telling you, and what is holding you back. Working with your intuition is like building a relationship, it requires a series of interactions over time to build trust and understanding. Time spent ignoring what your heart is telling you not only delays the specific decisions at issue, it keeps you from building that trusting relationship with yourself, and gathering momentum towards an authentic life.